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Oslo criticized for importing paving stone from China

Replacement paving for the streets of popular Oslo district Grünerløkka will be imported from China.

Oslo criticized for importing paving stone from China
Oslo's Grünerløkka. Photo: Helge Høifødt /Wikimedia Commons

A Norwegian business representative organization has criticized the decision by the ostensibly climate-friendly city, NRK reports.

“We live in a country of stone. The municipality should choose something local if it’s available,” the broadcaster reports a commenter in Grünerløkka as saying in relation to the import of stone from China.

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The trendy district’s main thoroughfare is currently undergoing renovation, with new cobblestones to be laid along the tram route, along with new curb and granite slabs on the sidewalk.

Materials for both the curb and stone on the sidewalk will come from China, NRK writes.

Norsk Bergindustri, the trade organization for Norwegian stone producers, said that many Norwegian companies were capable of supplying the relevant stone.

“Oslo Municipality’s image is vary sustainable. We want to be an environmentally friendly city,” the organization’s general secretary Anita Helene Hall told NRK.

“So I don’t understand the kind of investment where you take material from abroad, all the way from China on the other side of the world, and use it here,” she added.

Major purchases by public authorities must be made available for suppliers to bid for, and Oslo Municipality’s urban planning section Bymiljøetaten must take into account quality, price and EEA regulations, according to the broadcaster’s report.

The department’s director of communications Richard Konsteien admitted that the decision to import stone to Norway might be “hard to understand”.

Oslo Municipality would “continue work” to place more emphasis on sustainability, he also said to NRK.

OSLO

Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

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Have the new e-scooter rules in Oslo been effective? Let us know in the poll below. 

 

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